An experimental drug cocktail has been found to eradicate Hepatitis C after six weeks of therapy.
Achillion Pharmacutical Inc’s hepatitis C drug, when used together with Gilead Sciences Inc’s Sovaldi, removed viral signs after six weeks.
This result bettered Gilead’s own hepatitis C treatment which managed the same amount of viral reduction after eight weeks.
Achillion’s ongoing mid-stage study is aiming to achieve a sustained virological response 12 weeks after therapy, which is considered a cure.
It was achieved by using a 50mg dose of Achillion’s NS5a inhibitor in combination with 400mg of Gileads’ sofosbuvir in previously untreated genotype 1 hepatitis C patients.
Achillion CEO Milind Deshpande said the data represents the “shortest duration and highest response” achieved with any two drug, direct acting antiviral regime for hepatitis C.
It is claimed hepatitis C affects 150m people worldwide.
Almost 50% of people who inject drugs in England are believed to have the disease. Hepatitis C is usually transmitted through blood to blood contact – through sharing razors, toothbrushes or sharing unsterilised needles.